What measures is the Government putting in place to support businesses?

On 26 March 2020, the Chancellor announced a new package of government support for the self-employed, we wanted to make sure you have access to the details of the scheme.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

  • People who are self-employed will receive a direct cash grant of 80% of their average profits over 3 years, up to £2,500 per month
  • It is open to anyone with average profits of £50,000 or less.
  • It will operate for three months initially but could be extended
  • The system will take time to establish and grants won’t be available until June – at which time those eligible will receive a payment for the whole three month period. So in effect, this will be a one-off grant to the self-employed
  • HMRC will use the average trading profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to determine the size of the grant. For those without 3 years of returns, the
  • Treasury will look at what they do have but there will be nothing for the newly self-employed without any filed accounts.

For details on how to apply and whether you qualify go HERE.

In addition, the government have put together FAQs relating to the scheme, which can be found HERE.


On 20 March 2020, the Chancellor outlined a outlined a number of measures intended to safeguard the economy and protect jobs during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • The Government is setting up a job retention scheme, whereby employers can get a grant of 80% of the wages of staff that are not working – up to a limit of £2,500 per month.
  • VAT for all businesses will be deferred until the end of June and businesses will have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.
  • The interest-free period of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be increased from 6 to 12 months.
  • Self-employed people will be able to access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.

Our industry is facing an unprecedented level of challenge and this latest announcement appears to offer some positive news. However, we are pushing for more information on the practicalities of how and when tourism operators can get the level of support they need at this critical time.

 The announcement follows a package of measures announced on 17 March:

  • All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will receive a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months.
  • Increase in grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000.
  • Further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.
  • Confirmation that government advice to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres etc. is sufficient for businesses to claim on their insurance where they have appropriate business interruption cover for pandemics in place.
  • Relaxation in planning regulations to allow pubs and restaurants to start providing takeaways without a planning application.
  • Support for liquidity amongst large firms, with a major new scheme being launched by the Bank of England to help them bridge COVID-19 disruption to their cash flows through loans.
  • Increasing the amount businesses can borrow through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £1.2 million to £5 million and ensuring businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as Government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.
  • The Bank of England scheme and Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be available from the beginning of next week (23 March).

More information about the package of measures announced at Budget 2020 to support public services, individuals and businesses affected by Covid-19 is available at www.gov.uk

Filing Accounts

The Government has announced that businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts. Further information on how to apply for an extension can be found HERE.

Guidance on Grant Schemes

This guidance sets out details and eligibility criteria for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF), informing local authorities about the operation and delivery of the two funding schemes. View full details HERE.


Government Business Support Hub

The Government has set up an online Business Support Hub detailing the full range of measures available.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Small Business Grant Funding

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

Time to Pay

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries

VAT Deferral

Income Tax Deferral for the Self-Employed

Business Closures and Stay at Home Guidance




Is there more localised information about the funding and support available?

Relief for Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Sectors
This relief is available for businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
For all businesses in the above sectors, 100% relief is available for a period of 12 months, irrespective of rateable value.
In addition, a cash grant of up to £25,000 will be made available to businesses with rateable values between 15,000-51,000RV.

£10,000 grant for Small Businesses
A £10,000 grant will be available for businesses who qualify for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief. The maximum rateable value limit is 15,000RV.
Local Authorities are waiting for further guidance from government regarding delivering both grant schemes.

Please see below links to business advice from each of the county’s local authorities. As this is a fast-moving situation the information is subject to change quickly so please do keep referring to both these pages and our own Resource Hub.

  1. Allerdale Borough Council
  2. Barrow Borough Council
  3. Carlisle City Council
  4. Copeland Borough Council
  5. Eden District Council
  6. South Lakeland District Council
  7. Cumbria County Council


Further Information

Lamont Pridmore – Business Continuity Advice

Our Strategic Partners Lamont Pridmore have created a comprehensive Coronavirus Business Continuity Toolkit to help advise businesses at this critical time.

This includes information on insurance cover, cost and cash control, cash flow, suppliers, tax authorities and staffing as well as template letters to assist you.

  1. Download latest version
  2. View their Business Support Hub


Burnetts Solicitors – Insurance Q&A

Our Strategic Partners Burnetts have produced guidance around potential business insurance queries.

  1. Read Guidance


Thomson Hayton Winkley – Legal Advice

During these uncertain times you may have many legal questions. Our Strategic Partners Thomson Hayton Winkley provide a legal helpline for our members, currently available through email. Please contact suzie.fisher@thwlegal.co.uk with your enquiries.


Further Advice

ACAS Advice (Employment Support to protect staff)

HMRC Time to Pay (Tax Helpline, call 0800 0159 559)

Companies House (if you need more time to file your company accounts)

Licensing Permissions for Pubs and Restaurants

Business Growth Hub (10 steps to take now, webinars, and managing cash flow guidance)

For further information

Contact Reception on
01539 822222 or info@cumbriatourism.org